April 30, 2016

Students March Against Debt, College Tuition

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Students gathered on the steps of Waterman

Students gathered on the steps of Waterman


Burlington, April 13 – Thirty UVM students rallied for their rights on Wednesday. The group marched across campus from the Davis Center to the steps of the Waterman building. They chanted “Free tuition! Free tuition is our mission!” and “Hey hey! Ho ho! Student debt has got to go!”.

This action was one of dozens of similar rallies at campuses across the U.S. under the banner of the Million Student March. The movement calls for free public college, cancellation of student debt, a $15 minimum wage, and divestment of college endowments from private prisons.

After the march, students gathered on the front steps of the Waterman building, shared their stories, and spoke their minds. Several chants called President Thomas Sullivan out by name. While the students acknowledged that Sullivan has refused a pay increase for the past two years and agrees that UVM is too expensive, they called on him to do more.

“While our turnout was fairly low for a school that hosts about 10,000 undergraduates, the people who did attend made up for it with their passion and enthusiasm,” said Dustin Keim, a leader of the Student Labor Action Project at UVM and one of the organizers of the march.

This is the second Million Student March. The first was held November 12th, 2015. UVM’s rally in the fall had more students, but Keim credits this decline to all of the work students are doing this week to prepare for finals.

“Both this and last year’s Million Student Marches were great steps towards recreating student activism on the UVM campus,” said student organizer Valentine Kulsic. Kulsic and Keim are optimistic about future student movements at UVM.



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